IBM announces program to create thousands of tech apprenticeships

IBM and the Consumer Technology Association are launching the “CTA Apprenticeship Coalition,” aimed at creating thousands of new apprenticeships in 20 US states as a way to help close the skills gap. IBM itself pledged to add at least 450 apprenticeships over the next five years.

The program aims to put the focus on skills rather than academic degrees and let workers gain the needed skills without taking on student debt.

Coalition members also include A&K Robotics,, Bosch, Canon, EVERFI, Ford, Future Ready Solutions, LOOK, OperationsInc, Phone2Action, Postmates, SoftBank Robotics, Sprint, Team- People, Toyota and Walmart. All plan to build apprenticeship programs or expand existing efforts.


Human cloud, ridesharing use rising; but still represents about third of US adults

More US adults are using human cloud, ride-sharing firms, according to research by the Pew Research Center. It found 36%, when asked in 2018, said they used a service such as Uber or Lyft, up from 15% in late 2015.

In addition, 61% said they have heard of such a service, but not used it, in 2018. That’s up from 51% in 2015.

However, users tend to be younger, with 51% of those ages 18 to 29 saying they used such a service compared with 24% of those 50 and older.

In addition, those whose annual household income is $75,000 or more are twice as likely to use a ride-sharing service as those earning less than $30,000.

Those with bachelor’s degrees were also more likely to use a ride-sharing service at 55%, compared to 20% of those with a high school diploma or less.

Ride-sharing users were also more likely to be urban or suburban, with 45% and 40%, respectively, using such services. Only 19% of rural Americans did so. The Pew Research Center noted that ride-sharing services tend to be less widespread in rural areas.

In addition, only one in 10 users say they use the apps at least weekly, and 67% use the services less than once a month.


 63% plan to hire additional IT staff

Many technology teams will be growing in the first half of 2019, but staffing challenges exist, according to Robert Half Technology’s State of US Tech Hiring research.

Sixty-three percent of IT hiring decision makers polled plan to expand the size of their teams by adding full-time employees; however, 87% of those surveyed said it’s challenging for their company to find skilled IT professionals.

According to the survey, 95% of leaders will make project-based hires next year, and 90% are reskilling current staff, with cloud computing the top skill being trained. Respondents cited the following as the top skills immediately needed for their organizations:

  1. Cybersecurity
  2. Cloud security
  3. Cloud computing
  4. Cloud architecture
  5. Business intelligence and reporting services 6. Database management
  6. Virtualization
  7. Web development/design (tie)
  8. Mobile development (tie)

More than half of IT decision makers in 28 cities are expanding teams, led by Houston at 80%; Charlotte, NC, at 77%; and Phoenix at 76%.

“Along with a strong core team, project professionals are becoming an integral part of organizations’ staffing strategies to get the best and brightest on board quickly for key projects,” Robert Half Executive VP John Reed said. “Digital and security initiatives continue to put pressure on IT departments, adding to the need for talent.”

The online survey was developed by Robert Half Technology and conducted by a leading independent research firm. It included responses from more than 2,800 IT decision makers in 28 major US markets. All IT respondents were screened to have hiring authority for the information systems or information technology department of a company.


Key AI jobs

KPMG listed the top five jobs that companies need to create or consider if they are to effectively build their artificial intelligence capabilities:

  • AI architect
  • AI product manager
  • Data scientist
  • Software engineer
  • AI ethicists